Leaving Aberdeen at 6am we were headed to Leeds for our first road game of the year against the Yorkshire Rams. Having finished 6-4 last season behind the Northumberland Vikings and Lancashire Wolverines, the Rams would be looking to get their season going with a win having been touted to be in contention for the division crown.
Having chosen to receive the opening kick-off the Rams offence struggled to get their run game going as the Roughnecks front 7 on defence swallowed up running backs and the quarter back in the backfield allowing the Roughnecks offence to take to the field and whilst a punt ended the first drive of the day they never looked back. Quarterback #16 Chris Breen would get the scoring started as he found Tight End #85 Rob Hayes in the endzone on a long pass downfield on third down; Roughnecks 7, Rams 0 with a successful PAT. A short Rams drive later would end with a botched punt snap which #27 Ross Herbert scooped up only to be stopped at the Rams 1 yard line. Running back #35 Dave Obatolu would happily then take to the field to convert the turnover into 6 points powering his way into the endzone however a blocked PAT would leave the score at 13 - 0 at the end of the 1st quarter.
Kicker #4 Stuart Don would make it 16 - 0 with a successful ~30-yard FG early in the second period, and a turnover from DB #22 Gamuchirai Mukuredzi would provide #35 Dave Obatolu another opportunity to find the endzone. This time he would receive a short pass from QB Chris Breen before taking the ball 35 yards, weaving through the Rams defence; Roughnecks 23 - 0 Rams, this time with K #23 Phil McCall tacking on the extra point. Pinning the Rams offence back from the ensuing kick-off would let the defence pin their ears back and getting pressure on the QB led to an intentional grounding penalty in the endzone, which by rule is a safety. 2 points to the defence, and a 25 - 0 lead at half time for the Roughnecks.
Determined not to give anything away in the second half, the defence continued to stand resolute forcing and recovering fumbles to get the offence back on the field and earn much needed rest on what was a sweltering Yorkshire afternoon. On one such occasion however Punt Returner #6 Lewis Hughes would ensure that rest wouldn’t be for long, almost finding the endzone on a long return only to be stopped agonisingly short, allowing #35 Dave Obatolu to complete a hat-trick in the 4th quarter again powering in from close-range. With Phil McCall having earlier added his first ever field goal to the score from ~35 yards out, Dave’s touchdown would make it 34 - 0 the PAT hold compromising the kick attempt. A final score of the game would ensure the game ended under a running-clock, with QB #18 Rhys Elmslie having to improvise with a wayward snap , forcing him to roll out of the pocket before delivering a throw to Tight End #85 Rob Hayes who rose above the Rams defence to come down in the back of the endzone. Rhys would then run in the 2PAT making the score 42 - 0 and sealing the deal on what was a very productive day for the Roughnecks.
FT: Aberdeen ROUghnecks 42 - 0 Yorkshire Rams
Following the disappointment of last weekend, it was great to be able to make amends and return to .500. We now prepare for the visit of the Northumberland Vikings to the Rig on the 5th of May.
Coach Stevenson had this to add:
"I’m immensely proud of what the guys went out there and did today. Not many had given us a chance of getting a result and to do so in the manner which we did really shows the hard-work and improvement this team strives for on a weekly basis. Credit also to my coaching team who keep working to ensure the guys remained upbeat after the tough result last week. 24 hour rule applies as always and then we move onto Northumberland.”
SCORERS, Turnovers AND MVPs
Defensive MVP: #44 DL Grant Travi
Trav really personified what we were looking for on defence yesterday with unrelenting effort, shutting down the run game early and with the help of the rest of the front 7 never let up.
Offensive MVP: #57 OL Angus Wright
All day long the offensive line gave both Quarterbacks all day to deliver dimes. Gus stood out standing strong and giving up nothing to the Rams D-Line.
MVP: #35 Dave Obatolu
Dave found pay-dirt 3 times and ran hard all day, carving through the Rams defence and carrying defenders with him.
Touchdowns: 3x Dave Obatolu, 2x Rob Hayes
Kicking: Stuart Don (FG, PAT), Phil McCall (FG, PAT)
Gamu Mukuredzi INT, Ross Herbert FR, Grant Travis FR, Andy Watts FR, Matt McCall FR